.AI domain names are very popular right now, but buyers should know what they are getting.
.AI domain names have become popular over the past year thanks to the explosion of Artificial Intelligence companies. Artificial intelligence is a mouthful, so a lot of people use AI for short.
What better domain for an AI company than .AI, right? Well, maybe. Here’s what you should know about the .AI domain name before you commit to using one for your company’s website and email address.
.AI isn’t short for Artificial Intelligence
OK, people in the domain name world already know this, but many of the people registering these domain names don’t know that .AI is actually short for Anguilla.
Anguilla is a British Overseas Territory in the Caribbean that has a population of just 15,000 or so. Its economy depends on tourism and offshore banking. And, as a reader pointed out in the comments, Google doesn’t treat .AI as an international domain. It assumes the content is targeting Anguilla. All 15,000 of the people there…
The management of .AI is very manual
Registering and updating .AI domain names can take time. There’s literally a guy named Vincent in Anguilla who handles these domains (and he uses a Gmail address).
Having one guy in charge of this also means there’s a single point of failure. And it’s fair to question the security of this zone, but more on that later.
How much do .AI domain names cost?
You’re going to pay at least $100 to register a .AI domain name and that covers the minimum two-year registration or renewal. This might seem like a lot, but people who registered domains in the late nineties were paying this much for .com domains.
If you want just one domain name, or you don’t want to deal with some hassles I’m about to write about, then 101Domain is probably your best bet. They charge $79.99 per year…but remember that you have to pay for two years at a time.
If you want to register multiple .AI domains, then you’re better off going directly to Vincent.
To do that, go to whois.ai and sign up. You have to pay $100 to get an account, but then you’ll pay just $100 per two-year registration after that.
Vincent is a big fan of getting paid in bitcoin, but you can also use a credit card.
Can I transfer .AI domain names?
Yes, but it’s old school. The buyer will need to pay the fee to set up an account and then you have to change the email address for the domain you are transferring to the new owner.
Doesn’t sound very secure to you? Then Vincent will handle escrow for you if you pay with Bitcoin. He charges 1/5 of a bitcoin plus 2%.
Mark Thorpe says
Now that’s what you call a stable ccTLD! At least .io (Indian Ocean) is a bit more stable than .AI.
Hello Vincent, from Mark in Canada (.Ca)!
Joseph Peterson says
Might be time for some bigger registry operator to step in for a win/win.
Mark Thorpe says
I was thinking the same thing.
Hi Vincent! Thanks for making .ai so great!
We will get EPP in a few months and you can then use whatever registrar you want and escrow.com too.
There’s also a significant SEO disadvantage with Google for .AI: it cannot be opted into global targeting, but is stuck with Anguilla targeting. There’s currently about 20 ccTLDs for which Google allows global targeting:
(click “more about determination” to see the list)
Rubens Kuhl says
Once upon a time, .co was stuck with Colombia targeting and .me with Montenegro targeting… if .ai gets traction in this meaning, Google will likely add .ai to that list.
Andrew Allemann says
I have no doubt they will, but it’s not currently on the list.
I perused the whois list of owners for many of the top .AI domains. Many companies in Silicon Valley. A well-known VC company there owns many .ai domains – at least 20.
Microsoft owns many. Google, FB, Enterprise Car, several series B funded companies using .ai as their main extension/URL, as well as one person from Ukraine who picked up several premium .ai domains. he also appears to be the one who’s flipped several of these domains on SEDO during the last few weeks.
The geographical areas for ownership comprise the Bay Area, Boston, NYC, London, Cambridge, Toronto, Montreal, Ukraine, Russia, Germany and Scandinavia.
Other areas are represented, but I didn’t see any from the Caribbean:)
yes, Whois.ai is not very convenient, when I firstly registered my .ai domain, and found that the other proxy registration is so expensive, $80 is 60% greater than $50, black heart. For this, I create a https://is-domain.com for providing convienent and cheap way registering .ai domains. about $57 for each domain, that means if you want to register about 5 domains, use so-domain is still cheaper than directly going to Whois.ai!
Liking .AI 4 poetry of equations EMC2 / SKLOGW
Branko Jovanovic says
When big companies such as Google, Facebook, Microsoft and others own a number of domains with .AI that adds to the credibility of the domain, even if it is operated by one person instead of a big registry operator.